West Bank Stands Strong Against Increased Repression
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West Bank Stands Strong Against Increased Repression

For the third week in a row, intense demonstrations were held all across the West Bank on Friday, with thousands of people coming out to protest the Occupation’s strategy of annihilation in Gaza. Once again, Occupation forces used brutal tactics to repress the rallies, causing dozens injuries to the protestors.

In the village of Ni’lin, thirteen people, including two women and two children, were injured by tear gas and rubber bullets. Nine of the people who were injured had to be rushed to hospital to receive medical attention. Some 300 villagers, along with international solidarity activists, marched in Ni’lin’s weekly demonstration. They held their midday prayed on the land near the Apartheid Wall, praying for the souls of the now more than 1,100 people who have died in Gaza. As they prayed, Occupation forces stormed the village and launched a heavy barrage of tear gas onto the streets and near houses. Many residents were unable to enter their homes as a result of the tear gas filling up the rooms. Occupation forces also fired sound bombs and rubber bullets near the praying demonstrators, prompting clashes that lasted into the evening.

Organizers in the village of Bil’in staged an innovative rally, as the weekly protest was symbolically silent. Protestors wearing flags from Europe, the UN, the US and Arab League countries gagged themselves, demonstrating the silence and complicity of the international community. As they marched towards the Wall, Occupation forces began shooting tear gas and rubber bullets at them, causing three injuries and dozens of cases of tear gas inhalation.

Meanwhile, in the village of Jayyous, in the Qalqilya district, early in the morning, Occupation forces occupied the rooftops of two homes near the south gate of the village, in an attempt to intimidate the villagers and stop them from staging their weekly demonstration. The people were undeterred, however, and some 400 protestors marched through the village streets. They were immediately met with significant amounts of tear gas, as the soldiers attempted to provoke confrontation. The forces then entered the centre of Jayyous on foot, going through the village to try and terrorize the residents. Dozens of people suffered difficulty breathing as a result of the heavy tear gas fired by the Occupation forces, while one youth was shot with a rubber bullet.

In the village of al Masra, in the Bethlehem district, two women were lightly wounded by attacks from Occupation forces. As the demonstrators marched near the Apartheid Wall, Occupation forces came and attacked them, beating them with their fists and rifle butts. The protestors pressed on, however, and the demonstration ended with speeches calling on the international community to stand up for humanity, and stop the massacre of the people of Gaza.

The city of Hebron was also the site of a large demonstration, which was once again repressed in a most brutal manner. Fifteen year-old Mustafa Da’ana was shot dead by Occupation forces, while fifteen others were injured.

Hundreds of people joined a protest in Tulkarem, as Palestinian flags were waved, and demonstrators chanted slogans denouncing the assault on Gaza. The city of Ramallah saw a similar scene, as several thousand people took to the streets in the central square in a show of national unity.